UNGA Adopts Management, Peacebuilding Restructuring Proposals Following Fifth Committee Approval
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The Fifth Committee concluded its resumed session on 5 July 2018 in New York, US, followed by a UNGA meeting to adopt the agreed texts.

In a meeting on 8 June on strengthening the accountability system of the UN under the new management paradigm, delegates called for continued refinement of policies and practices to improve accountability.

5 July 2018: The UN General Assembly has endorsed the establishment of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and the Department of Peace Operations, as proposed by the UN Secretary-General. It also approved the reorganization of the current Department of Management and Department of Field Support into the proposed new Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, and Department of Operational Support. Following agreement on these matters in the (UNGA) Fifth Committee (Budgetary and Administrative). Following agreement in the Fifth Committee on resolutions outlining these decisions, the UNGA met to adopt the text.

The Fifth Committee concluded the second part of its resumed session on 5 July 2018, in New York, US. The new departments on peacebuilding were considered in a text titled ‘Special subjects relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2018-2019.’ The other reorganization was outlined in a text titled, ‘Shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations.’

In a meeting on 8 June on strengthening the accountability system of the UN under the new management paradigm, delegates called for continued refinement of policies and practices to improve accountability. Christian Saunders, introducing the Secretary‑General’s report on the matter, explained that the increased delegation of authority under that new management paradigm will be accompanied by a simplification and streamlining of the rules, policies and procedures. The increased delegation of authority will also be accompanied by the development and dissemination of administrative guidance along with training, support, monitoring and accountability mechanisms. By leveraging the global management reporting capabilities of Umoja, the proposed Business Transformation and Accountability Division would use business analytics to provide real‑time reporting on performance to senior managers, as well as other internal and external stakeholders.

Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), supported by the US, noted that future reports of the Secretary-General must expand on the implementation of the accountability system by providing more complete information on the overall status. The US recommended including benchmarks to substantiate the impact of accountability initiatives.

Switzerland, also for Liechtenstein, said roles and responsibilities must be clarified. She noted that greater authority should be given to managers entrusted to deliver on UN’s mandates, who in turn must be held accountable for their decisions, performance and conduct. She added that managers have the tools and ability to exercise such authority. China called for strengthening the supervision of accountability by the Committee for Programme and Coordination and the Fifth Committee. He further expressed support for the establishment of the Business Transformation and Accountability Division to support the implementation of the reform measures. [Fifth Committee Meeting Summary, 5 July] [UNGA Meeting Summary, 5 July] [UN Meeting Coverage – 8 June]

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